Latin American CivilizationsPresentation Transcript
Latin American Civilizations
Characteristics of Advanced Civilizations• High populations within societies• Advanced food storage and domestication of a variety of food• Complex institutions, such as organized religion and government• Written language• Specialization of jobs
Characteristics of the Incan Empire• “the land of four quarters”• No written language, but pictographs, and quipus• Engineering accomplishments included suspension bridges and roads that connected the empire.
• Trade included textiles, gold, silver and bronze, Peruvian livestock and agriculture; used coin money• Terraced farms dotted the mountainous landscape and corn was grown at altitudes over 13,000 ft.; steps provided access to farms; guano used as fertilizer
• Religious ceremonies were highly complex and included human and animal sacrifices• The supreme god of the Incas was the creator god, Viracocha• The royal family was believed to be descended from the sun god, Inti• Incas also practiced ancestry-worship and mummification
Characteristics of the Mayan Empire• Highly organized religious and government systems• Religious rituals demanded involvement by all social classes• Mayan society was divided by class and status, living in kin-based groups with a hereditary chief• Rulers were recognized as god-kings
• Hieroglyphs were their form of writing• Mayans used two calendars, one was based on a 365-day year; the other was used for religious purposes• Applied complex mathematical systems including the concept of zero• Highly developed astronomical concepts
Architecture completed without the use of wheel technology
Aztec and Mayan Empires
Characteristics of the Aztec Empire• Ruled from about 1428 until 1521 CE• Tenochtitlán• Chinampas• City-states helped support large populations, which were highly organized
• Writing included pictographs but was not as developed as the Mayan• Mathematical concepts included a counting system based on 20• Accurate calendar• Had the wheel, but only used for children’s toys.• Herbal remedies for specific ailments• Tradition of poetry, music, and drama.
• Belief systems supported necessary human sacrifices to appease the gods; these also included child-sacrifices
• Class system was highly stratified; rulers were considered semi-divine• Highly advanced trade system, extending into Guatemala, included lake salt, cacao and textiles (no coin money)• Today, %30 indigenous people in Mexico claim ancestry to the Aztec, 9% are purely Spanish, %60 are mixed.